Terrorism

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

On today’s program: What the new UPMC and Highmark agreement means for patients; a Pittsburgh author releases his debut novel; Aliquippa is using a federal grant to improve access to fresh food downtown; and a terrorism expert explores how counter-terrorism has evolved. 

Mark Baker / AP

Pittsburgh Police will be increasing patrols at area mosques and the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh this weekend after attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand left 49 worshippers dead. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said Tuesday that some of the most urgent terror threats facing the county and region include violent domestic groups, such as white supremacists , and "homegrown violent extremists" – individuals who are radicalized by terrorist groups, often through the internet.

FBI: Al-Qaida Supporter Planned Bombings In Cleveland And Philadelphia

Jul 2, 2018
North Olmsted Police Department

An American-born citizen who federal authorities say recently scouted locations in Cleveland to attack people watching Fourth of July fireworks and talked of carrying out additional bombings in Philadelphia has been charged with trying to support terrorism.

Federal authorities said Monday that Demetrius Pitts had expressed his support for al-Qaida for more than a year and talked about setting off bombs at a July 4 parade and later in his hometown, Philadelphia.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

A female college student stood in a room at UPMC Presbyterian hospital Thursday morning, laughing as another student tended to her gunshot wounds -- one on either side of her belly button.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh officials said Monday that global terror attacks have prompted new safety precautions for local Fourth of July celebrations.

Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich promised a noticeably heavier law enforcement presence, including plain clothes police officers and more uniformed patrols near firework viewing areas like Point State Park.

For a man once accused of forming every sentence with a noun, a verb and 9/11, it was a serious omission.

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump said Monday it's time to "chart a new course" in the battle against "radical Islamic terrorism," though much of what he proposed is similar to the course already set by President Obama.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Local officials joined U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) on Friday in calling on Congress to approve funding for grants that would help municipal police departments fight terrorism locally.

While the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee did approve a bill in February to formally authorize the eight-month-old Office of Community Partnerships in the Department of Homeland Security, the committee declined to pass the accompanying language that would allow the office to give grants to municipalities, nonprofits and universities.

General Michael Hayden On Counterterrorism Techniques

Mar 31, 2016
William B. Plowman / AP Images

How far should a country go “in the name of national security?” For retired Air Force 4 Star General Michael Hayden, it’s all about the circumstance.

In his new book “Playing to the Edge,” Hayden addresses both the good and bad accounts of enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation.

Brussels Attack Analysis From Local Counterterrorism Expert

Mar 23, 2016
Ralph Usbeck / AP Images

In the wake of ISIS attacks in Belgium that left many dead and injured, we'll talk with nationally recognized counterterrorism expert Colin Clarke, Associate Political Scientist at the Pittsburgh office of the RAND Corporation. We'll look at what's driving ISIS terrorism, why Brussels was attacked, if Belgium's security forces failed, and whether more attacks are likely.

Jonathan / Flickr

Following the Thursday arrest of a 19-year-old Harrisburg man accused of aiding the terrorist group ISIS, U.S. Senator Bob Casey said Congress has a lot of work to do in combating what is referred to as homegrown extremism.

Casey was briefed Thursday on the months of work that went into the arrest of Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz. Casey said knowing the methods terrorists or potential terrorists use is imperative in preventing future violence.

Professor Stresses 'Vigilance' Following Paris Attacks

Nov 17, 2015
Alastair Grant / AP Images

Since the tragic events that rocked Paris last Friday the world has been on high alert. How should the nation be reacting to the terrorist event that shook Paris?  We’re posing this question to Michael Botta, associate professor and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Intelligence Studies at Point Park University and a former counter terrorism special agent.

Gov. Tom Wolf is asking Pennsylvania residents to be vigilant and report suspicious activity following the Paris terror attacks but says "there remains no known imminent threat" to the commonwealth.

Wolf said the Office of Homeland Security has advised him that police in Philadelphia have stepped up security for the weekend. He said citizens may also experience increased security in other areas of the commonwealth.

The governor said Pennsylvania residents "should be vigilant, remain patient and be respectful" to law enforcement officers.

Point Park University

A man in a brown leather jacket carrying a large black bag makes his way across Point Park University’s campus and enters a building. From inside an elevator, he opens the bag to reveal a handgun, which he tucks in his waistband and picks up a military-style rifle. He leaves the elevator headed toward an unsuspecting class.

Nicola / flickr

University of Pittsburgh associate professor of international affairs Michael Kenney says while media attention often focuses on the young teenagers who have answered the Islamic State's call, another essential set of recruits are activists from Britain and other Western countries who are deeply committed to establishing the calliphate, both in their home countries and globally. Kenney has researched the issue and will discuss how we can reach the people the Islamic State is trying to recruit. 

From the documentary (T)ERROR / Courtesy of Chicken & Egg Pictures

The new documentary (T)ERROR focuses on the role of paid FBI informants in capturing alleged terrorists. The film focuses on a Wilkinsburg man, Khalifa Ali Al-Akili, arrested in 2012 on a gun charge following an investigation in which an FBI informant tried to goad him into conversations about Islamic radicalism. Our guests are David Felix Sutcliffe and Lyric Cabral, directors and producers of "(T)ERROR," winner of the Special Jury Award for Breakout First Feature at the Sundance Film Festival.

According to Sutcliffe, the case against Khalifa, like some other cases the FBI has built, looked strong.

“There are these cases that look impressive, but once you dig beneath the surface there's a lot of issues there,” says Sutcliffe.